|Girl in the torch|
Author: Sharenow, Rob
After her father is killed in a pogrom, twelve-year-old Sarah and her mother immigrate to America--but when her mother dies before they get through Ellis Island, and the authorities want to send her back to the old country, Sarah hides in the torch of the Statue of Liberty.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 176264
Kirkus Reviews (03/01/15)
School Library Journal (04/01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2015 Gr 4–7—When her father is brutally murdered, Sarah and her mother escape the Russian pogroms and sail to America with a prized postcard of the Statue of Liberty inspiring their dreams of a new life. This treasure offers little comfort however, after Sarah's mother is stricken with illness and dies upon their arrival at Ellis Island. With no relatives in the United States, the authorities decide to send Sarah back to her home country. Instead, she jumps overboard from the ship making the return trip and swims to Liberty Island, taking refuge in Lady Liberty. After a week's worth of evading capture and scavenging for survival, Sarah comes to the aid of the drunken night watchman when an accident leaves him incapacitated. Her discovery not only puts his position in jeopardy but gives Sarah a chance to make a life for herself far different from that which her parents had imagined. Many elements of this middling novel seem too far-fetched to be plausible. In addition, the majority of individuals are stock characters, some of whom seem racially stereotyped, only adding to the novel's contrivance. Ethnic diversity in the Lower East Side during the turn of the 20th century is portrayed as naively harmonious, with what little conflict that exists too neatly resolved at times. Still, readers interested in historical fiction will find a readable narrative with mostly likable personalities. Avi's City of Orphans (S. & S., 2011) surpases this book in its representation of daily life in the tenements and the gritty realities for many living on the Lower East Side. VERDICT For collections with a regional interest to its locale, this would be a servicable addition; passable for smaller collections and budgets.—Rebecca Gueorguiev, New York Public Library - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/15/2015 This tale of assimilation and survival brings Emma Lazarus’ iconic “New Colossus,” famous for gracing the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, to life. Sarah, a 12-year-old Russian girl, finds herself orphaned after her father is killed in a pogrom and her mother succumbs to sickness just days after their ocean crossing to the U.S. Facing deportation to an unwelcoming homeland, she makes the impulsive decision to escape the immigration agents by leaping into New York Harbor and swimming to Bedloe’s Island. By day, she mingles among tourists and eats discarded remnants of picnic lunches. At night, she sleeps in the crown room of the Statue of Liberty until she’s caught by a kindly, if troubled, night watchman, and she’s forced to make her way in the strange city. With the help of an elderly Chinese woman and an enterprising newsie, Sarah gradually begins to feel at home. This dynamic commentary on multiculturalism and the immigrant experience in America will likely be useful for middle-grade readers learning about early twentieth-century U.S. history. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.